How should unbelievers be Counseled?
Another question that will come up is well how do you counsel unbelievers? The answer is that in one sense you can’t counsel an unbeliever. You evangelize an unbeliever because a non-christian, remember what’s the goal of biblical counseling biblical counseling is that the counselee will live a life that is in conformity with the will of God. They would live a life that is pleasing to God. Well, Romans eight says the mindset on the flesh is death. The mindset on the flesh is hostile towards God. It does not subject itself to the law of God, for it’s not even able to do so. And those who’re in the flesh cannot please God. So I frequently have counselees come in who’re unbelievers. I am glad to see them ’cause I love to tell the gospel to unbelievers.
But so long as they remain in the flesh, they cannot live lives that are pleasing to God. What we seek to do is to share how their big problem is spiritual. It’s in relation to God. And it’s as they come to him and receive the redemption offered in Christ and through the gospel. That will actually lead to addressing the other problem as well. But again, the author of Hebrews says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Paul says in the Corinthians, “Without the spirit, it is impossible to understand the things of God.” But one of the great things about having a biblical counseling ministry that’s open outside of just the people in our church is I’ve had the joy of seeing several counselees over the years who’ve came in as unbelievers and as the word of God was brought to them they were converted. So we welcome unbelievers, but in a sense you can’t tell an unbeliever how to deal with his spiritual problems until he sees that coming to Christ is the beginning of the solution.
And of course it’s the most important thing. He hasn’t even identified his biggest problem. He wants to be happy, and we need to tell him no what you need is to be right with God. That needs to be the focal point. And thanks be to God that there is a way to be right with God. There’s a way to be reconciled to God through the gospel.